Coco Robicheaux

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Curtis John Arceneaux (October 25, 1947 – November 25, 2011)[1] better known by the name Coco Robicheaux, was an American blues musician and artist, from Ascension Parish, Louisiana, United States.

He was born in Merced, California, the son of Herman Arceneaux from Ascension Parish in Louisiana and Virginia Grant of Waushara County, Wisconsin. His father was of Acadian (Cajun) descent, while on his mother's side his ancestry included English, Norwegian, Scottish, German, Dutch, Welsh, and Native American (Mohawk). Also on his mother's side he was a direct descendent of accused Salem witch Sarah Cloyce. He spent some of his preteen/early teens in France where his Air Force father was stationed for 3 years. The accent and other Cajun flails were manufactured. Curtis was a genius with an extremely high IQ. He could master and did master every musical instrument he tried. He was also an accomplished artist. He was a master story teller who could and did embellish every story he told. [2] He spent some of his childhood in the French countryside.[3]

Arceneaux took his stage name from a Louisiana legend, in which a naughty child called Coco Robicheaux, is abducted by a werewolf (Loup Garou or Rougarou). The name 'Coco Robicheaux' is repeated in the song "I Walk on Gilded Splinters" from Dr. John the Night Tripper's 1968 album, Gris-Gris.[4] Robicheaux claimed that he played regularly with Mac Rebennack (Dr. John) in the early 1960s, and said: "Many times I gone and played with him, all around the world, different places. Dr. John, he was very much interested in metaphysics. We had this little place on St. Philip Street. In voodoo they call the gilded splinters the points of a planet. Mystically they appear like little gilded splinters, like little gold, like fire that holds still. They’re different strengths at different times. I guess it ties in with astrology, and influence the energy. That’s what that’s about."[5]

Robicheaux appeared in the episode "Hotshots", of the USA Network series Big Easy, playing a New Orleans musician named "Coco", who had sold his soul to the devil. Two of Robicheaux's songs were also featured in the episode, "Broken String" and "Spiritland". Coco Robicheaux appeared as himself in the second episode of HBO's Treme, first broadcast in the US on April 18, 2010.

Coco Robicheaux died in November 2011 in New Orleans, Louisiana, at the age of 64.[1]

One of his last recordings were for the Danish singer Naja Rosa Koppel´s album "The Place I Call Home" (2012)

His very last recording took place on his 64th birthday, one month before his death, with singer Frenchie Moe. Mike Hood, Leon "Kid Chocolate" Brown, Jimmy Carpenter and Jack Cruz also contributed to the song.


  • Spiritland (Orleans 1994)
  • Louisiana Medicine Man (Orleans 1998)
  • Hoodoo Party (Orleans 2000)
  • Yeah, U Rite! (Spiritland 2005)
  • Like I Said, Yeah, U Rite! (Spiritland 2008)
  • Revelator (Spiritland 2010)


  1. ^ a b - accessed November 26, 2011
  2. ^ Norman Bunnell first cousin
  3. ^ Biography short at
  4. ^ Seida, Linda. "Biography: Coco Robicheaux". Allmusic. Retrieved May 3, 2010. 
  5. ^ Alex Rawls, "How Coco Robicheaux Turned Up In Dr. John's 'Splinters'",, 27 November 2011. Retrieved 9 August 2014

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